A SNOWY WINTER’S FAQ for 2020-21!
(or, what you need to know when it really snows a lot…)
With the forecast of lots of snow for this Thursday, December 17, many are asking what our plans for Snow Days are for this year. The snow predicted for Thursday is on track to hit on Wednesday evening, making travel on Thursday difficult. We will continue to watch the weather and will notify you as soon as we have any announcements.
For this school year, knowing that virtual learning is possible, we are making some adjustments. For the 20-21 school year, the first called Snow Day will be “traditional,” meaning that we will not hold classes at all that day (and meaning that everyone should get outside and play in the snow!). Going forward, if a Snow Day is called this year, there might bewill be a modified virtual schedule that, depending on the nature of the storm as it relates to possible power loss, will be shared out by division.
A reminder that we are going to continue to encourage everyone to eat outside, and when they are eating inside, we will have windows open as much as possible. Please send your children with layers so they can stay warm and stay safe.
Read below for our weather alert FAQs.
What is the school’s basic philosophy of canceling school?
We will only cancel in-school learning when Mother Nature simply won’t be denied, or when the city has called a parking ban. We know that students and families build their routines around us, and we try our very best to fulfill that expectation. That said, we live miles apart, and our comfort levels vary. If Wheeler is still in session on a day you feel the roads are unsafe, we respect your decision to keep your child at home, or pick them up early. All absences are “excused absences” if you feel the roads are unsafe. We completely understand that, ultimately, the decision to send your child to school is yours.
How do we find out if Wheeler will be closed?
We change our outgoing voice mail, post on the homepage of our website, and on our social media channels. The television news stations also announce school closings on their websites. We will NOT use the Blackboard (“robocall”) system for a snow day announcement unless a true emergency has arisen.
When is the decision made to cancel school?
Typically between 5:00 and 5:30 AM. If possible, a cancellation will be made the day before to allow families more time to plan. (If, for instance, a Providence parking ban is called well in advance.)
What about parking bans?
If the city of Providence declares a parking ban, Wheeler will automatically close our campuses. (We have no choice because almost 2/3 of our faculty, as well as many high school students, park on the street.)
What about kids who take city or charter buses?
If Providence Public Schools close, neither public nor charter buses will run. This does not guarantee that Wheeler will close, but it is a factor in the decision as many students depend on these buses each day.
Will you ever have late starts or early dismissals due to weather?
On rare occasions, we will have a delayed start, and we will almost never close early. We have found it safer and easier for parents and children if we stay open for the regular school hours.